In this age of experience economy, its only digital transformation that has the potential to disrupt and transform industries. It helps enhance experience, productivity, efficiency and speeds up the innovation to stay ahead. And there is no better time than the current one to institutionalise the digital culture and reap the rewards in abundance. The otherwise conventional chemical sector has also come forward to embrace digital technologies and adapt to the rapidly evolving customer needs and expectations. Increased competition is forcing the industry to undergo digital transformation in a big way.
Grasim Industries, part of Aditya Birla group and one of the leading chemicals companies in India, has been making stellar efforts to leverage digital in order to create new business opportunities and improve operational efficiencies. The chemical giant has done many innovations to achieve customer centricity and deliver a seamless experience. One such initiative is deployment of new-age applications.
Ashish Desai, VP – IT and CIO (Chemical Business), Grasim Industries Limited is the force driving this digital transformation. The company has launched several applications aimed at omnichannel and app-based sales of commodity chemicals, real-time tracking of consignments and safety.
“We have started the omnichannel distribution of commodity chemicals in the retail segment. This approach has been leveraged for the first time in this industry. The objective of this model is to get customer insights by reaching the end consumers directly,” says Desai.
The algorithm-based pricing is aimed at avoiding manual intervention. On the other hand, multiple options facilitate payments online as opposed to the traditional approach of cheque / RTGS / NEFT.
“We have been able to add over 300 customers through this app. It has helped us improve our margins by 5 to 6 percent in the retail segment. We have been able to create a benchmark in this particular area,” says Desai.
However, that’s not all. The company has been blazing the trail as far as launching and deploying new applications is concerned. It is utilizing several of them to create business impact and better the customer satisfaction.
Below is a snapshot of the five innovations:
Mobile App for customers for real-time tracking of consignments, thus improving OTIF and reducing intervention from the sales team.
AquaArmor – An open App for technical services and guidance on improving fish farming.
Suraksha App to create awareness related to Chlorine usage, gather insights from customers, improve safe handling and encourage transparent complaint redressal among various other issues. The App provides information to customers in three different languages, i.e. English, Hindi and Gujarati.
Sales Person Productivity improvement app at the selling point.
Portal for customers to check their ledger online, download digital invoices and Certificate of Analysis.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented circumstances across industries and sectors, every company is grappling with those in their own unique ways. Grasim Industries has stood out for its agility, resilience and sustainability by leveraging technology to create new business models, improve efficiency and move towards a no-touch economy. This journey of digital transformation has ensured touchless operations, thus ensuring safety besides improving retail margins by 5-6 percent. The initiatives have kept the leading chemicals company well and truly ahead of the curve.
NOTE: Ashish Desai won the dynamicCIO Innovative Heroes 2020 Award for this innovation